NPL WA Round 15 Wrap

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With the season almost two-thirds of the way through the ladder is starting to split up. The top three of [the still-undefeated] Bayswater City, Floreat and Perth SC have opened up a five point gap between them and the chasing pack.

Stirling claimed their first win in five games to take 5th spot, whilst Sorrento continued their good form. At the other end of the table it’s looking like a three-horse race between Perth Glory, Armadale and ECU Joondalup for the wooden spoon with all three struggling to keep up with the rest of the league.

Bayswater City 2 (Marulanda 14’, Tong 90’)
ECU Joondalup 1 (Montgomery 81’)
Frank Drago Reserve

Perth SC 3 (Ambrogio 14’, 65’, Pritchard 74’ PEN)
Cockburn City 1 (Patterson 80’)
Dorrien Gardens

A Nicholas Ambrogio brace powered Perth to a comfortable victory over Cockburn. Despite a strong start from the visitors, Ambrogio gave the Azzurri the lead on the quarter-hour mark with a composed finish past Curtis Aspden. Liam Murray had a wonderful chance to equalize for the visitors but he couldn’t keep his shot down whilst Aspden kept Perth at bay up the other end. Perth searched for a second goal in a close second-half and they were rewarded when Ambrogio finished off some wonderful work by substitute Frank Furfaro. Eamon McNelis’ handball in the box allowed Mark Pritchard to make it three from the penalty spot before Rory Patterson grabbed a consolation goal for City.

Inglewood United 2 (Awad 14’, Witschge 88’)
Bayswater City 4 (Farrell 17’, Giron Marulanda 21’, Heagney 29’ PEN, 45’)
Inglewood Stadium

A four-goal first half from Bayswater saw them continue their charge towards the title and an undefeated season. Inglewood’s Mohamed Awad gave the hosts the lead with a curling strike but it was all Bayswater from that moment onwards. Brian Farrell latched onto David Heagney’s header to level the scores before Gustavo Giron Marulanda outpaced the defence and beat Aleks Vrteski in goal to take the lead. Heagney then won a controversial penalty and, although Vrteski saved the initial shot, the striker buried the follow-up. The hit man duly made it four on the stroke of half-time when he found space in the area. The second half failed to live up to the excitement of the first and whilst United’s Scott Witschge got himself on the scoreboard late it was a case of too little, too late.

Sorrento 1 (Canham 65’)
Subiaco 0
Percy Doyle Reserve

Sorrento extended their unbeaten streak to six games thanks to Sean Canham’s second-half strike. In a game of few chances, Jack Salter caused Subiaco early problems but he was unable to convert his two early opportunities. Kevin White hit the bar early in the second half as both sides struggled to test each other’s goalkeeper. It was left to Canham to score the game’s lone goal when he latched onto a cross and diverted it into the net after a neat counter-attack. White and Iain McMurray came close late to rescuing a point, but the Gulls held on.

Stirling Lions 4 (Kamara 3’, Micevski 32’, Bowden-Hasse 36’, Shuruma 49’)
Perth Glory 2 (Valentini 56’, 67’)
Macedonia Park

A strong first-half performance from Stirling Lions saw them snap their five-game winless run in style. Teeboy Kamara gave the Lions an early lead with a fine strike from the edge of the box and David Micevski doubled their lead after some good work by Laurence Shuruma. Nathan Bowden-Hasse added a third to give the Glory a mountain to climb in the second half. Shuruma seemingly put any hopes of a comeback to bed soon after the break when he reacted quickest to a loose ball in the box. However Stefan Valentini quickly pulled one back before he grabbed another goal ten minutes later to set-up a tense final twenty minutes. Despite some late pressure from Perth the hosts were able to see out the rest of the game with their two-goal buffer intact.

Armadale 0
Floreat Athena 3 (Stynes 31’, Arnold 59’, 82’)
Alfred Skeet Reserve

Floreat kept their title challenge alive with a comprehensive victory away to Armadale. The hosts grabbed the ascendancy early with Jesse Fuller and Faustino Machochi coming closest in the opening exchanges whilst Floreat were foiled by goalkeeper Dylan Wilson. Jon Stynes broke the deadlock for Athena when he rose highest to head home a corner and their lead was extended after the break thanks to Phil Arnold’s strike. Despite Armadale testing the visitors, Arnold scored his second late in the piece to ensure the points would be heading to Floreat.

Balcatta 1 (S. Montgomery 61’)
ECU Joondalup 1 (Sammut 70’)
Grindleford Reserve

Balcatta and ECU Joondalup split the points in an even encounter at Grindleford Reserve. ECU goalkeeper Andy Banks, who came out of retirement in the week, was twice called upon early to deny Patrick Quinn whilst Balcatta skipper James Sammut fired narrowly over in the best chance of the first half. ECU’s father-son combination of Stuart and Bayley Montgomery created the first goal of the game when Bayley crossed for his father to fire home. However, ECU’s lead was short-lived as Sammut smashed home nine minutes later to equalize for the visitors. Balcatta enjoyed the better of the final twenty minutes but were unable to capitalize, allowing ECU to escape with a draw.

Round 16 Fixtures (Rivalry Round)
Cockburn City vs Armadale
Floreat Athena vs Stirling Lions
ECU Joondalup vs Sorrento
Balcatta vs Inglewood United
Perth Glory vs Subiaco
Bayswater City vs Perth SC

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